and believe me with the highest esteem, ever your true friend and
P. S. -I sincerely trust Captain Bodgers is also unharmed.
Charleston Harbor, S. C., April 8, 1863.
Major General D. HUNTER,
Commanding Department of the South, off Charleston:
GENERAL: I am this moment ion receipt of your most gratifying letter of this date. I did not, however, require this to satisfy me of your deep sympathy in our operations of yesterday, intensified by the fact that circumstances beyond your control prevented that which of all things you would most have desired-an immediate and active co operation. I shall have your letter read on every iron-clad of this fleet, so that every man under my command shall know, what has long been familiar to me, the heartfelt sympathy of the commanding general of the Army of the Department of the South.
I am, general, with the highest respect, your most obedient servant,
S. F. DUPONT,
IRONSIDES, April 9, 1863.
Commanding Department of the South:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I have nothing of an official character to communicate. I am lingering here to destroy the Keokuk, and waiting for the tides to carry this ship over the bar. In the mean time they are building batteries around us.
I desire to thank you for that glorious letter you wrote me. You can hardly imagine the effect it had upon the officers and men who were abound me when it came. You must not be surprised if you see it in print, and must put in upon my officers and not upon me for being there, thought I felt it not less than any of them I can truly say.
I feel very comfortable, general, for the reason that a merciful Providence permitted me to have a failure instead of a disaster, and if I had ever entertained roar a moment any misgiving as to my course the dispatches just handed me would remove it.
I find the President is greatly alarmed about things on the Mississippi, and I am directed to send all the iron-clads immediately to Pensacole except two.
In great haste, not to detain Colonel Fessenden, gratefully, your friend,
S. F. DUPONT.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 189. Stono Inlet, April 11, 1863.
I. General Orris S. Ferry Will proceed to Hilton Head, with his staff, there to await further orders.